Behind every project is a well-developed proposal that took days, weeks, or even months to prepare. But because not every good idea is a feasible one, you’re lucky to get one approved proposal after five rejected ones. Thus, writing a proposal must be done carefully and correctly to meet a client’s expectations.
So in this article, let’s discuss the basics of writing an effective proposal through a few guidelines and ready-made templates for you to use.
Listed below are the major elements of a proposal:
1. Objective: Every proposal must have a defined objective. This acts as a blueprint that will guide you through the process of composing the document. Without such, getting a clear message across will be impossible to do. Thus, you must specify these objectives before you begin writing the proposal. Determine what you want to achieve along with the main takeaway that readers will gather from your proposal.
2. Methodology: This is an essential part of any type of proposal, be it a business proposal or a research proposal. The methodology tackles the problem, methodological approach, research design, data collection and analysis procedures, as well as other resources required to complete the project. Considering that this makes up the body of the proposal, discussions must be given in detail.
3. General Information: As a proponent, you’re most likely representing a public or private institution that hopes to meet the needs of a potential client. Though there isn’t a need to elaborate who you are as an entity, you might want to include a brief introduction about yourself. Focus on basic information that matter, such as your location, specialties, and contact details. Try not to make it too lengthy, as you don’t want people to lose interest so quickly.
4. Projections: When creating a project proposal, the financial aspect of your project must be reflected in your document. Concentrate on areas that are valuable to your clients, such as profitability ratios, income statements, and the return on investment. However, try not to dig too deep into these projections as a summary will already be enough for readers to get a glimpse of the costs.
Business Plan Proposal
When tasked to create a proposal for a business or an academic purpose, following an organized procedure will help you achieve your desired goals. With that said, here is a step-by-step guide to help you through the writing process:
1. Develop a plan: A thorough plan can be advantageous in many ways. Not only will it provide direction for your content, but it will also remind you of the requirements and expectations that need to be met. Take the time to study the problem, learn about the needs of your target audience, and see how you can resolve the issue in the most efficient way possible.
2. Create an outline: You might have a lot on your mind right now, but before you translate those ideas into actual words, you might create an outline for your proposal. This enables you to convey your ideas in a way that readers will understand. Begin by making a list of the main points you want to cover. You may also include some supporting statements for each item. The outline will help keep your proposal clear and organized for readers to grasp.
3. Utilize a template: The great thing about using a template is that you no longer have to worry about the structure of your content. You can simply edit each part of the proposal to meet your requirements. Keep in mind that most templates are designed for a specific purpose, so make sure to choose one that suits your end goal.
4. Compose an introduction: First impressions matter, even when it comes to proposals. Your problem or thesis statement should explain what the document is about in a few words. Make sure to identify the issue that needs to be resolved along with a proposed solution to this problem.
5. Formulate the body: The body contains a detailed discussion about your proposal including project schedules, budget allocations, action plans, workforce requirements, and other necessary information. A persuasive tone may be necessary to justify the significance of the project in addressing an issue.
6. Conclude your proposal: Once you have covered the specifics of your proposal, always end it with a bang. Allow readers to ponder on a thought and grow curious about what it is you have to offer. And to top it off, remember to review the entire document for any errors that may have been committed. Any changes should be applied before the specified due date.
Now that we know how to write a proposal, let’s see how you can improve your proposal with the simple tips:
Before you begin, you need to know what kind of proposal you’re making. It can be one of the following types:
1. Formally Solicited: This proposal is made in response to an official request from a particular party. A Request for Proposal (RFP) document is sent out to let you know what the client expects from your proposal, along with a few guidelines for preparing the document. It’s important to take a more structured approach with this proposal. So if you want your project proposal to be accepted, an ideal format must be followed.
2. Informally Solicited: What makes this different from a formally solicited proposal is how the document could be based on a conversation between a client and a proponent as opposed to a defined goal, deliverable, and method. Though this may not be too different from a formally solicited one, it does require some extra work to compose.
3. Unsolicited: Unlike those previously mentioned, nobody made a request to receive the proposal. Fortunately, an unsolicited proposal can still offer a ton of value if constructed correctly. It should contain pertinent information and enough evidence to convince a prospective client why your project is worth the investment. It won’t be easy, so be sure to gather the right data beforehand. You may also see short proposal examples.
4. Continuation: Continuation proposals are actually the easiest ones to write. They merely provide a reminder or update for a project that has already been approved. This is often written to request funds as you enter a new phase in the project’s development. When doing so, you remind your audience of the ongoing project, report on its progress, and account for any changes that need to be made. If the project happens to exceed the expected budget, the client has the option to discontinue it.
5. Renewal: A renewal proposal is typically written as a request for a project’s continued support. This should show why continuing the project will be valuable to the involved parties through the return benefits acquired. It’s also a good idea to draw comparisons between the said project and other continuing projects to put its worth in context and point out areas that the organization is better off without.
6. Supplemental: Proposals are never accurate. A few unforeseen circumstances may have caused a major shift in the project’s development. When this happens, you need to justify the extra resources required to finish the project and provide estimates of what it will now take to complete. However, it’s important to maintain a positive tone throughout the document to offer assurance that the operation is still worth pursuing. You may also see job proposal examples.
A proposal refers to a solicited or unsolicited submission by a party to provide certain goods or services to or from another. Although this does not represent a promise or a commitment, if the other party accepts the proposal given, the proposer is expected to adhere to the terms and conditions established in a binding contract. The contract must be negotiated and agreed upon before the project may follow through.
Depending on your end goal, a proposal can be a technical, marketing, or sales document. It is written to help you identify a goal and explain why it is worthwhile, develop a concrete strategy for attaining those goals, and verify whether this strategy matches the goals stated. This may be prepared by both private and public sector organizations to carry out a project.
A proposal is an essential building block of any business deal. It is known to be the foundation of a project that covers the basic requirements asked or needed by a potential client. Think of it as a professional resume that applicants are required to submit in order to obtain a particular job. If the proposal satisfies what the prospect is looking for, further discussions will follow to assess whether the project is worth pursuing.
So there you have it! Compose professional proposals today with the help of the templates and examples provided in this article.